Thursday, April 24, 2014
Posted by Alphonso at 10:02 AM
Why It Happened - The Red Sox were okay with pine tar use by pitchers in cold weather ( a week or so ago at Yankee stadium ) because Clay Buckholtz is a prime user. And they are baseball people who understand that pitches always have, and always will, " doctor " baseballs.
In some cases, this " doctoring" provides a slight advantage to the pitcher and in others it provides a measure of safety ( better control of the 97 MPH fastball ) for the hitter. In the long run, baseball wins out and great hitters come through in the clutch, and great pitchers throw shutouts.
Now let's look at Boston 2014. They have started slowly and trailed the Yankees by 4 games when Pineda took the mound last night. Pressure was building for the recent comeback champs of 2013. Just two days after the city's marathon triumph, but one day after a pasting of their best pitcher, Boston was in no mood to lose again to the Yankees.
The Yankees went down in the top of the first with barely a whisper against the ancient John
Lackey ( whom we should have acquired from the scrap heap 10 years ago. Thanks Brian. Another idiotic non move ). In the bottom half of the inning, Pineda got rocked and was on his way to an 18.00 ERA for the evening. But the 2 run lead did not insure the game for Boston.
As the bottom of the second transpired ( Yankees still with no offense ), it was clear Pineda had much better "stuff." Fearing that 2 runs was not enough to win, the Sox blew the whistle on the brain dead Pineda, and complained of the pine tar which coated his neck like fudge sauce on a sundae. Not only were the Yankees humiliated, but they had to use up their bullpen, setting up another good shot for Boston tonight, knowing that CC is good, on his best day, for only 6 innings.
So this was a desperate and timely move to assure Boston of a likely 2 of 3 for this set, and a meaningful closing of the Yankee lead in the division.
The More Important Question - Can Pineda pitch effectively, under any weather conditions, without the use of pine tar?